The rain had held off, but the roads remained wet, so with trepidation the winter bike was plucked from the depths of the garage, which was soon realised as being a mistake. With Gareth & Chris (Parkes) for company we sped into the wind towards the club house.
We were soon to be joined by, Chris (Selley), Stuart, Big Dave, Hard Man Of The North, Tony (Brunton) & Darren. With talk of a road race (containing our club mate Richard Stanton) over at Old Warden, our destination was set. Going against all NBRC Club run rules, with the wind on our backs off we sped, this was later recognised to be our second mistake of the day.
The change of countryside was like a breath of fresh air, however Gareth & HMOTT were determined to get a few hills in, so up to Cranfield it was, followed by a downhill section to Marston. It was here where we picked up a 20 strong contingent of Beds Road Riders on their way to Harpenden. Club camaraderie prevailed & we all dug deep to drop them before Millbrook, once into Houghton Conquest we were faced with the hilly ascent up to Haynes. Looking more like a stage in the Ardennes forest, then the hedgerows we are used to, the woodlands of Chicksands were soon dispatched as we reached the Village Hall in Old Warden.
It was decided that it would be a bad call to quaff all the cake & sandwiches at the race HQ before the tired riders got back, so tea & buns at The Shuttleworth Collection was deemed appropriate. But not before cheering our club mate, Richard on as he sped along with the main group, about 50 seconds off the breakaway.
Enjoying our tea & cakes surrounded by peacocks & finery it was just like being back at Harley Hall, for a fleeting moment. However, the rest was to be short lived & we were soon on our way back. On the outskirts of Old Warden, HMOTT, Stuart, Chris (Parkes) & myself opted for an early bath & left the rest to follow along the race route. Turning into the headwind, we soon realsied the error of our ways & it soon became apparent to Stuart that his 1pm Luncheon appointment in Flitton with Mrs Stuart, might not be a viable possibility.
Switching his Garmin to the 'go home' menu, he soon bid his farewell to us & began heading for Bedford. Realising that this was going to put the miles on, we tried to call him back, but the headwind defeated us.
We eventually rolled through the door with 50 miles on the clock, with our average taking a battering down to 15mph on the route home.